If you are looking into renting out a property there are probably a million and one things going through your mind – there’s certainly lots to think about. One of your considerations is sure to be whether to use a letting agency or go it alone. There are certainly benefits to both approaches, with factors such as time, cost and control coming into play.
Firstly, here are the pros of using a letting agent:
• A letting agent will free up your time as they will put in the leg work to advertise your property, find you tenants, complete credit checks, get references, sort the contracts, control the rent – pretty much everything! Obviously, all this is chargeable; however it will afford you the time to get on with other matters at hand.
• By using a letting agent you are likely to get more interested parties through the door, thus increasing the chances of letting it out than if you were doing it independently. This is mainly due to the effort the agency can put into the advertising (i.e. in the press, online, ringing round would-be tenants) and the fact that the property will be affiliated with a recognisable, well-known brand.
• Particularly if you are a new landlord, it is probable that a letting agent will be able to find a tenant for you much quicker, mainly due to their experience, client database to draw from and procedures that are already in place.
• Letting agents can also act as advisors as they will be well-informed on the market and how much you can expect to rent your property out for. Without any guidance you could spend months marketing a property with an inflated price or to the wrong specification for the area (i.e. a family home in a commuter area popular with young professionals). Letting agents can ensure your tactics are spot on.
• Every landlord will be hit with problems, no matter how polished their property is – as with any house, things can always go wrong. Likewise, your tenant could turn out to be trouble, so it may be beneficial having an agent on board who can deal with matters directly with little input from yourself.
Of course, using a letting agent isn’t for everyone. Clearly, using an agent will eat into your profit as they will charge for services or take a commission on rent. You will also be handing over accommodation that you may have invested a lot of time and effort into and for some landlords this is difficult. Relinquishing control can be hard, but on the flip side there’ll be less pressure on you to deal with absolutely everything.
Landlords and letting agents can also clash – particularly if a landlord believes an agent is just looking for a quick sale without due consideration of securing the best rates and tenants. This is debatable, but what is clear is that a landlord needs to think long and hard whether using an agent is the best route for them. If you are currently toying with such a predicament, contact Galliard Residential on 0208 582 5517 for an initial, no obligation chat.